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CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society: Where to Begin Your Research

This guide will define information, explain the differences between Google and databases or other library resources, how to locate reliable resources, and how to cite these resources.

The Library is Always Available


We all have busy schedules, and coming to the Madigan Library for research help can seem impossible.  Fortunately for you, the databases and catalog are available online 24/7 so you can search from anywhere, anytime.

If you are off campus, you will need to enter your network username and password--the same sign ons you use to log onto a computer on campus--to have access to the databases.  For example: if your email is, your network username would be abc1.

Library Worksheet

Other Popular Databases

Proquest is one of our most popular databases and is a more user-friendly database.  When searching for information in Proquest, the limiters are easy to set and choose.  Proquest offers a wide range of sources including scholarly articles, periodicals, trade journals, books, and more on a variety of subjects.  The Proquest database simultaneously searches across multiple subject specific databases to locate results.        

While on-campus, when you search Google Scholar, a message to the right of the article link with say "Get it @ Madigan Library," which means that we have the resource at Madigan Library.  Clicking on the link will lead you to the article in the library's holdings.  

Use ProQuest to Complete Your Assignments

Search Tips

light bulbEach databases have hundreds of thousands of resources.  In order to find results that you want, your search terms to be specific.  Use these tips to search the databases:

  • Combine keywords using AND for more precise results*.  If you use AND between your search terms, the database will only retrieve items that contain both search terms.  If you search for apples AND oranges, you'd see resources that are about apples and oranges.
  • Combine keywords using OR for broader results*.  If you use OR between your search terms, the database will retrieve items that have one or the other search terms in them.  If you search for apples OR oranges, then you'd see resources that are about apples and other resources that are about oranges.   
  • This is not used as much, but you can also insert NOT between your search terms to exclude a search term from your search*.  This can be useful.  For example, if you are writing a paper on apples but many of the articles you find are about apples and oranges, you can search apples NOT oranges and the database will exclude the term orange from your search, only retrieving articles on apples.  
  • Use "quotation marks" to search for phrases.  Putting quotation marks around a multiple word search term, like "honey crisp apples," will only retrieve articles that contain that specific search term.
  • If you are researching a particular topic like "teaching," you can place an asterisk (*) in your search term that will modify your search.  Your search term would be teach* and because you placed an asterisk at the end of teach, the search will find articles that have the word teach, teaching, teacher.  Placing an asterisk after the search term will retrieve the different forms of the word from the stem of the word teach. 
  • Use the Advanced Search feature to combine search categories or terms, as well as limit by date, source type, format, etc.

*: AND, OR, and NOT are called Boolean operators

Library Guide Overview: Welcome to the Library

Library Instruction: Database Searching